Shoshana Wayne Gallery is pleased to present Another Green World, a new exhibition by Russell Crotty. This is the artist’s fourth solo show with the gallery. While following the trajectory of his previous work, namely the study and cataloging of places and a deep interest in astronomy and the environment, Another Green World introduces audiences to a new direction in Crotty’s work where process is less controlled, thus making way for chance.
In the main gallery, there is a series of bioresin collages: crude stick drawings on paper collaged with common plastic objects from the grocery store, tinted bioresin (made from renewable pine sap), and fiberglass. Crotty, showing an influence by the Supports/Surfaces Movement, explores process as well as image in this body of work. Beginning with sticks dipped in ink, Crotty draws structures such as oil derricks, dilapidated piers, and lander spacecraft. He then integrates smaller detailed drawings into the larger stick drawings along with plastic containers. Crotty notes “the final effects are somewhat unrestrained when the bioresin hits the paper and pools, spreading the color into atmospheric fields, and the plastic creates a sculptural relief of transparent air pockets, acting as distorted windows to the drawing beneath.”
In the west gallery, Exoplanet Interfusion, a multi-panel collaged mobile is suspended from the ceiling. While complex in structure, this work is unrestrained and fluid. Each panel presents an interpretation of an imagined planetary element on one side and a word or phrase relating to star systems on the other. The movement of the panels is lyrical and mesmerizing, creating a revolving dialogue between image and text. As such, Crotty gently nudges the viewer’s perception by contrasting the fantastical quality of the art with the mundane astronomical nomenclature of the science.
As a whole, the power of Crotty’s work rests in his ability to begin with the real and push it to the brink of other worldliness. Integrating the known with the perceived, the structures presented in the bioresin and mobile works are familiar objects that Crotty takes to a nuanced imaginary place where they have the potential to become scenes from science fiction. Furthermore, his deliberate choice of content, materials, and color palette calls attention to the effects of environmental degradation.
Russell Crotty has exhibited widely nationally and internationally. His work can be found in the permanent collections of Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; MoMA, New York; the Whitney Museum, New York; the New York Public Library, MOCA, Los Angeles; LACMA, Los Angeles; Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton; and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City amongst many others. Russell Crotty is a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, as well as an artist-in-residence at the Institute of the Arts and Sciences, UC Santa Cruz and the Lick Observatory. His residency project received a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation to support his upcoming solo exhibition at the San Jose ICA in 2016. The artist lives in Ojai and works in Ventura, California.
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